EMERSON, REUBEN L (BIO) - Columbia County, Arkansas | REUBEN L (BIO) EMERSON - Arkansas Gravestone Photos

Reuben L (Bio) EMERSON

Magnolia City Cemetery
Columbia County,
Arkansas

1845 - 1910


Hon. Reuben L. Emerson is a prominent merchant of Magnolia, and is also the editor and proprietor of the Columbia Banner, one of the leading journals in the county. His birth occurred on May 18, 1847, near Rome, Floyd County, Ga., his parents, John S. and Mary A. (Walker) Emerson, being born in North Carolina, in 1803 and 1813, respectively. The former was a farmer by occupation, and although he was born in the Old North State, he was early taken to Alabama, and afterward went to Georgia. In 1858 he settled in Arkansas, and purchased an improved farm in Columbia County, for which he paid $5 per acre, and on this resided until his death, which occurred in 1868. He was twice married, first in North Carolina to Miss Sarah G. Castles, who died in 1845, leaving five children, two of whom survive: Mary A. (Mrs. Dorsett), of Texas, and John L., a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church of that State. Mr. Emerson was married to Mrs. (Walker) Emerson, in 1846, she being the widow of his brother, Thomas C. Emerson, who died in 1845, leaving, besides his widow, four children, two now living: Sarah J. (widow of R. H. Emerson, of this county), and Susan E. (now Mrs. J. L. Linton, of this county). To John S. and Mary A. Emerson a family of four children were born: Reuben L., Martha C. (who was the wife of Charles G. Kyle, and died in this county), Lewis M. (a farmer, and a resident of Indian Territory), and Harriette A. (deceased). The parents of these children were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and on the old farm in Arkansas, the mother passed from this life in 1876. The paternal grandfather, James M. Emerson, was of Scotch-Irish descent, and is supposed to have been related to Harry Emerson, a Revolutionary soldier. Reuben L. Emerson, the immediate subject of this sketch, has been a resident of Columbia County, Ark., since he was eleven years of age, and there received a good education in the country schools. Upon attaining his majority he began working for himself as a clerk in a store in Camden, a position he retained for two years, being also engaged in teaching during the summer seasons of these years. At the end of this time he returned to Columbia County, and continued to farm the old homestead until 1877, when he entered a tract of 280 acres in Mississippi Township, where he continued to make his home for two years. In 1879 he moved to Magnolia and purchased the Columbia Banner, the only paper published in the county at that time, it being the leading Democratic organ in the same at the present time, its subscription list comprising 1,650 names. In 1884 Mr. Emerson purchased the interest of A. J. Dennis, in the mercantile establishment known as Dennis & Emerson, after which the firm was known as Emerson & Emerson until the spring of 1888, when Reuben L. Emerson became sole proprietor, and is doing a paying business. In 1880 Mr. Emerson and Z. L. Daniel established a real estate office in Magnolia, the first one to be opened here, and Mr. Emerson still gives his attention to this work, and commands the largest patronage in the county. He also deals in scrips and warrants of all kinds, and now carries the county indebtedness. He is one of the leading Democrats of the county, and is the present secretary of the County Central Democratic Committee, a position he has filled faithfully for the past six years. He is also secretary of both the senatorial and judicial executive committees. Mr. Emerson is a man who possesses a brilliant intellect, and his judgment on all matters of public interests is of the soundest. His ability was recognized in 1881 by his Democratic friends electing him to the State Legislature, a position he filled by re-election until 1885. Since which time he has persistently refused to become a candidate for any official position whatever, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to his business affairs. While residing on his farm, he was postmaster of Brister, and was also school director for about twelve years, and school examiner of the county for five years, which office he still holds. He is now secretary of the town school board, and is president of the Magnolia Female College, of which he was the principal founder and incorporator. He has ever been interested in educational matters, and is president of the Select Literary Society of Magnolia, and although himself self educated he is one of the most intelligent and best-posted men of the county. He has been devoted to his business interests, and his present property, which amounts to about $30,000, he has accumulated by his own industry and good management. He is the owner of about 6,000 acres of land in Columbia County, besides a large amount of valuable real estate in Magnolia, including two large store buildings, college building, and four large and several small residences. He was married in 1870 to Miss Sarai Young, who was born in Alabama in 1845, a daughter of Simeon and Sarah Young. Mr. and Mrs. Emerson are members of the Methodist Protestant and Missionary Baptist Churches, respectively, and are the parents of the following family of children: Mallie, Alice, Mary, Sarai Donan, and two children that died in infancy. (Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas - Goodspeed Publishing Company - 1890)

Contributed on 4/27/09 by debbraszymanski
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Record #: 184634

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Submitted: 4/27/09 • Approved: 12/7/17 • Last Updated: 12/10/17 • R184634-G0-S3

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